'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 9 Top 6: Why Did Cole and Witney Go?
'So You Think You Can Dance' Season 9 Top 6: Why Did Cole and Witney Go?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Sometimes, So You Think You Can Dance gives us some strange results. Despite consistently strong performances, Cole Horibe and Witney Carson were eliminated from the Top 6 of Season 9. Why did they go home while others stayed?

The New Format

How many dancers have been eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance season 9 because of the new, once-a-week format? Were Cole and Witney the format's latest victims?

Maybe. Both were eliminated based solely on their Top 8 performances. The other dancers could have done the hokey-pokey all night and still made it into next week's finals. The new SYTYCD format probably isn't the only (or main) reason for the eliminations, but there may be some connection.

During a conference call on the morning after their eliminations, both Cole and Witney indicated that the old SYTYCD format might have led to better results for them. Were they right?

Wrong Styles

Witney is a Latin-ballroom dancer. Cole is... Ummm... Well, Cole is whatever blend of dance and martial arts dancer he is.

It's cool when non-contemporary dancers make it far in the So You Think You Can Dance. And this is the season for it! Not one contemporary dancer made the Top 6 (and only one, Will, made it to the Top 8). Instead, we got two ballet dancers, a ballroom dancer, a jazz dancer, a martial-arts-fusion guy and whatever it is that Cyrus does.

Still, there's a reason why contemporary dancers tend to do well: It's easy to define. We know when they're doing well and when they're failing. This gets harder when more styles come in. It's possible that a lack of familiarity contributed to Cole and Witney going home.


I have to admit that Cole Horibe has been my pick to win So You Think You Can Dance season 9 all along. His acting skills and his crazy athleticism made him seem unbeatable.
Witney seemed likely to go far too, what with her cuteness and her ability to manage lots of styles.

Obviously, I was wrong. Did other viewers have the same opinions? Did they think that Cole and Witney were safe and therefore didn't need extra votes?

Popularity Trumps Dancing

Honestly, what the Top 6 results probably came down to is popularity.

This is especially likely with the guys. Both Chehon and Cyrus are obvious crowd-pleasers (and rightly so!). Cole is a little more subdued. The votes obviously didn't want Cole as much as they wanted the other two. It's arguable that Cole is the better dancer, but he just wasn't the most popular.

It's a little more complicated for Witney. Eliana and Tiffany have legitimately out-danced Witney in this competition, but that doesn't always mean they won the popularity contest. It seems more likely that Witney simply lost in popularity. It's not her fault, mind you. When even Mary Murphy can't keep Witney Carson and Top 8 dancer Lindsay Arnold straight, you can imagine that the audience might feel a little confused.

Why do you think Cole and Witney were eliminated? Who do you think will win now? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of FOX)

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